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About the Book:
Chosen by God, Mary was more than the mother of Jesus. She was a hero of the Bible. She said “Yes!” to God. Learn about Mary and her exciting place in history. Discover what it was like to grow up in Israel and be a part of Jesus’ life on earth. Mary – part of the Get to Know series – will teach you everything you need to know about this young woman whom God used to do great things!
I’ve been enjoying reading and reviewing the new Get to Know series from Nancy I. Sanders, you can see my Jesus and my Apostle Paul reviews, and recently I received Mary as well. Mary is probably one of the most well- known women in the Bible, she carried the Lord in her womb, is called blessed among women but yet much remains a mystery about the young girl who carried the Christ child. How old was she really? Some speculate 13 to a little younger to even a little older. We don’t know. What happened to Joseph, her earthly husband, after Jesus is found in the Temple? Was she a widow? Could Joseph be an invalid and no longer able to travel about. Much speculation revolves around Mary – including how much we should or should not revere her. Obviously, she was very blessed but she is not the way to Heaven or our Salvation or even our mediator – all these titles belong to Christ alone. So I wanted to see what Nancy I. Sanders had to say about Mary and her life as a Jewish woman, who was betrothed to Joseph but found herself a virgin pregnant by the Holy Spirit carrying the Messiah BEFORE her official marriage! Whew! Not sure I could handle the stress but Mary is so sure, so seemingly calm that she is like okay, let’s do this! I have to wonder did Mary know while still pregnant that in just a few short years what would happen to her Son? As a mom, I’d have to think that God wouldn’t give that much detail to her, although it does seem that she recognizes how important this boy is.
Nancy begins by describing Mary’s familial line, that of the house of Jacob and goes up through Christ’s Resurrection and Ascension – all with beautiful, full colored illustrations that bring that time period to life. Most of us have been taught that the wise men appeared in the ‘barn’ where Jesus is freshly wrapped in linen and bring Him gifts – although if you read further in Scripture it states that Jesus was a child, probably old enough to walk, and thankfully that is what Nancy presents to her readers, an older Christ child when the wise men visit Him with their gifts. I think the only real issue I had with the book is the mention of Jesus having brothers and sisters – whether He did or didn’t doesn’t negate His Salvation – but there is nothing in Scripture that supports the brothers or sisters mentioned as being biological siblings – my interpretation is that they are Brothers and Sisters in belief and why if He did have siblings why did He put Mary’s care into the hands of another man? However, this doesn’t make or break the book – as the mom I was able to discuss our family’s personal belief in relation to what we read in Scripture – but again if Mary did have more children, I’m perfectly okay with that but we have to be careful when we start saying Scripture says she had more children – I think it’s quiet as to whether the brothers and sisters are biological or spiritual – it’s not something the Lord wants us hung up on.
Like the other two in this series it’s a short and fast read, at 110 pages – I read it in about an hour – but it has quite a bit of information on the culture around Mary as she was living as a Jewish woman under Roman rule – which had to be fraught with some trepidation. Good for a younger child, I’d say around 5 and up through adults (I learned some neat information too) would enjoy this book. The illustrations keep the younger child’s attentions and it may have the older child or the adult seeking questions and finding their answers in the Bible. This one is also aligned with the Common Core Standards – so it could be used for the public or private school child who needs to watch out for these things now. As with all books written by man or woman as the case may be, weigh it against Scripture and you’ll know what is truth and what is chafe and be able to sift those apart – this is a great little book to introduce one of the important women in Jesus’ life and in the Bible.
(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws